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Oh Canada!

A lot of my colleagues love the fact that travel is part of academic life. Isn’t it splendid that visiting exotic locales like, uh, Frankfurt am Oder! (note: that’s not the exciting Frankfurt, and, no offense to Frankfurters, but the exciting one’s not that exciting either) and…Edmonton! is a required part of our job. (Because, in case you aren’t hip to the ways of the academic, we have to disseminate our brilliant research, which we do at conferences or academic meetings.) Me? I hate travel. I’m grateful my job makes me do it, because otherwise I’d never leave my house. I don’t like Foreign Places, because I always feel so shitty about my rudimentary or nonexistent language skills, and everyone hates Americans, and I get so intensely self-conscious about making an ass of myself ordering coffee, and there are some places where being vegetarian is problematic (Confidential to Spain: Ham is not a vegetable.) and in short it’s STRESSFUL for a delicate flower like me.

And now I have to leave my child.

On Thursday I’m off to Vancouver, returning Monday.

I hear it’s lovely. I will not be appreciating its loveliness.

Several people have told me that I will enjoy the freedom. I will not enjoy the freedom. I will be listening (or “listening”, anyway) to tedious-ass talks and missing my child. And going to bed early because I’m ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD AND OLD AND FEEBLE and missing my child. And not being able to go out drinking with my buddies and missing my child.

On the side of good, I get to take my fetus. I’m very glad about that.

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. SRB #

    Oh man. If you were fetus-free and hitting up Toronto instead of the worst city in Canada, we would get our vegetarian assess soooooo druuuuuunk. Here’s hoping. Enjoy all the Starbucks Van City has to offer…there are SO MANY.

    May 15, 2012
  2. Bahhaaa. Glad you get to take the fetus with you. I love to travel, but I also love to haul Jack along with me. I haven’t been able to do that every time, but when I can I try to make that happen. It is sad to be away from your baby. It does make things harder to enjoy. But you should at least TRY. Do it for me! Do it for those of us who wish it was part of our job to be in Vancouver for a weekend.

    May 15, 2012
  3. OK, I agree that travelling without the wee one is very sad (I hate even missing bedtime, which means I never even make dinner plans. I’m lame.) But Vancouver is awesome (my DH’s hometown) and we have been there a ton (it’s where beta 2 was done in 2010, in fact). Happy to give you my 2cents on food and stuff offline, if you are interested.

    May 15, 2012
  4. I hear you. I’m about to leave my baby for the first time for two nights, and I’m so distraught. I’ll be thinking of you this weekend too! But very glad you get to take the fetus… That would suck if you had to leave that little guy! πŸ™‚

    May 15, 2012
  5. Jen #

    I am leaving Jackson for one overnight for the first time ever next month. On Father’s Day. Because a dear friend from college has her baby shower planned for Father’s Day. (Her sister, the host, is clearly an idiot.) So I booked the fanciest hotel in Iowa City (where I went to college! and where she still lives. And believe it or not, there are fancy hotels in Iowa City) to at least have a kickass night’s sleep. Hopefully. Probably not. But the sheet linen count will be high at least.

    May 15, 2012
  6. I hope my country treats you well, even if you’d rather not go. And Bun Bun is far lovelier than Vancouver (although I will surely get SHOT for writing this – it’s really not cool not to think Vancouver is the best place on earth, but I really have never fallen in love with it like most people have. What can I say? I think the old mountains of the east are far more enchanting than the newer mountains of the west).
    I hope the conference at least brings you intellectual stimulation and fun collegial interludes (ok, that sounds a bit bland and I’m hoping there is something remotely zesty for you there).

    May 16, 2012
  7. When you have to do something, it is no longer fun. But it will go away soon enough and you will be back. Hope the fetus enjoys theride. πŸ™‚
    As for the Frankfurt-s, yes, neither is exciting. The one am Main gets mildly interesting when the auto show is on. Which makes it totally uninteresting for a lot of people.

    May 16, 2012
  8. I, too, am starting to freak out a bit about my first trip away from the baby. On the one hand I’ll hopefully get lots of sleep (although it’s a bachelorette party, so perhaps not) but on the other I’m not going to be able to stare unblinkingly at my little sleeping baby for hours on end. Boo.

    P.S. I was vegetarian in Spain for 2 years. It’s easier in summer than in winter. Gazpacho! That being said you do have to clarify that vegetarians don’t typically eat fish because, although they’ve got the ham thing more or less down, they do think things that live in the ocean count as vegetables…

    May 16, 2012
  9. Yes, Vancouver is supposed to be incredibly beautiful. But it’d be hard not to view it through the pall of “I want my baby!”

    That said, Delicate Flower, I think you should plan at lease one special thing for yourself – something you don’t have a chance to do at home, even if it’s just giving part of the conference a miss and lingering in bed or going to a cafe and ordering something non-caffeinated and non-ham-like and just being.

    (Easier said than done:)

    May 16, 2012
  10. Louisa #

    Oh that so true about Spain, and I’m not even vegitarian! Well at least you wont be alone on your trip,

    May 16, 2012
  11. Oof. Gonna be tough.

    I hope, despite yourself, that you can appreciate Vancouver’s loveliness for at least a couple hours or so.

    I feel the same way about traveling. Sophisticated people are supposed to be eager to travel at every conceivable opportunity. I’m just not.

    May 17, 2012
  12. It’s handy how they make fetuses (feti?) portable like that….
    Ditto to Adele’s suggestion above. If you have to be there, you might as well get something good out of the deal. And Vancouver certainly beats some other possible conference destinations.

    May 17, 2012
  13. Well, I am just so glad that you get to take the foetus with you. (ha ha, you really did make me laugh :)) I’ve always thought that Vancouver would be a lovely place to visit. Will you be giving a talk about your own brilliant research?

    I agree with Adele, do something nice for yourself. Having an hour to sit in a cafe enjoying some delicious goodies and a newspaper sounds like heaven to me right now. And yeah, I hear you on the food front. I was once served “vegetarian” sushi. With fish on it.

    May 17, 2012
  14. Since I am belly-aching on my blog about leaving my son to go to work, clearly I can’t fault you for not wanting to leave Bun Bun! These little people change our lives so much, don’t they? Vancouver is a terrific city and if you can, take a little time to do just one thing for yourself! And enjoy the company of little Bunlet while you’re at it!

    May 17, 2012
  15. Oh, conferences. They are always either awesome or unrelentingly tedious — there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. Are you presenting or just attending? Because if you don’t have to present, there should be plenty of time for you to give some of it a miss and do whatever makes your feeble old ass (KIDDING! and you said it first) happy — Skype with Bun Bun, sightseeing with the fetus (though you will likely have to describe the sights to said fetus, whose view is going to be much the same as at home), watching monster movies in the hotel room — whatever floats your boat. It will not be as good as staying home if that’s what you really want to do, but if you plan your getaway strategically it will at least get you out of pretending to listen to people who have no business talking in public and yet somehow got a talk accepted. And by all means, complain loudly on your blog — I promise not to respond with any variation on “But Vancooooouuuuuver is amaaaaaazing! The moooooouuuuuntains! The sceeeeeenery!”

    May 17, 2012
  16. Misfit Mrs. #

    The Mr.’s family tried to pass off rabbit as vegetarian in Italy, I know, horrifying. I really adore traveling, mostly because I like to feel out of pace and wake up my senses. With child, and I can imagine with toddler, the experience is less appealing. Every day with those two things in play is an adventure where you end up in your own bed at the end of the day.

    I also vote for blowing off a half day for something delightfully indulgent. Spa, cupcakes, a walk on the ocean? I am biased toward the love of Vancouver as it ranks up there with cities that are cleaner than SF, but have the charm (and a Fluevogs store, ahem).

    You are probably already at conference, so my tardy comment won’t put you in danger of shoe shopping, but I do hope that at least the time won’t drag on and you will be reunited with the loved ones quickly.

    May 17, 2012
    • but…rabbits ARE vegetarian! My talk’s Saturday, so it’s Sunday for the fluevog store… Nice tip. I’m in SFO right now looking out at that familiar view…

      May 17, 2012
    • Booked a massage next to the Fluevog store… Thanks for the inspiration!

      May 18, 2012
  17. Traveling when you don’t want to travel, AND having to do it without Bun Bun? Not so fun at all. I’m so lucky that I love traveling and so far have been able to (successfully) take Gwen with me pretty much everywhere. We just got back from a few days in Sweden (which, with a stopover at Copenhagen airport, puts her tally of countries visited at 7 in 6 months!). Like you said, at least Bunlet gets to go with!

    May 18, 2012
  18. twoblueshoes #

    I took my foetus on work trips a couple of times (Weeee! Sydney! So beautiful! So fucking loud!) The first trip I had the greatest sleep of my life in a ginormous bed all on my own. The second I shared a room with two colleagues and sat up in my single with heartburn all night trying not to puke. I’m hoping you’re having the former kind of experience. And not missing your child.

    May 19, 2012
  19. Awwww bunny!! You better be having some canadian fun right now! I’m sure you’ll miss your baby (and husband?) but maybe Canada will woo you with a little of it’s charm too. Hope it’s not all horror and heartache. I dont think its compulsory to LOVE travelling (ugh, I personally have never understood how those people catch the ‘travel bug’). xx

    May 22, 2012

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